Landscape Design: French Country in Spanish Fork, UT

Last post date is Feb. 23rd.  Wow that’s a long time.  It doesn’t say much for my 2015 new years resolution to be a better blogger, but I’ll try to catch up.  Between finishing up another school year, taking care of the baby, and building my landscape design clientele, I’ve been MIA on  Just to prove I have been a little busy, here’s one of the projects I’ve been working on this spring.

barney residence

When I first met with the client she expressed her desire to have a French country landscape design to match the style of her newly constructed home. My mind flew to summer 2012 where I spent a month wandering through Europe with my husband.  I felt like it couldn’t be three years since the trip because the formal garden of Versailles came so vividly to mind.  With inspiration from the most renowned  formal French garden in the world I began creating this design.  This home is in the foothills at the mouth of a beautiful, but very windy canyon.  The varied slopes and grade changes were a challenge that was made a little easier by their builder constructing some retaining walls around the home.

barney 3

Steep grades and natural stone boulders aren’t considered classically French, so formality was emphasized through dwarf boxwood hedges both in the front and backyard.  Emerald arborvitae around the perimeter works to unify the design with an evergreen hedge and doubles as a wind block.  Perennials in shades of purple, white, and yellow planted in between the boxwood hedges bring color and movement.

barney 2

Ornamental Kale & the Benefits of Perennial Foliage Plants in the Garden


oranmental kale 2

We just couldn’t stay away.  They say that the completely un-February like weather we’ve been having lately will disappear for a few days of rain and snow and below 50 degree weather.  But even with that forecast on the horizon we couldn’t help ourselves, we had to go to the garden center to get some ideas and soak ourselves in the fragrance of the greenhouse.  I can never get over that smell of fresh potting soil and sweet blossoms.  There are few things more thereputic than the sound of running water and the smell inside a greenhouse.

While we were perusing their selection of early spring bedding plants we came across the ornamental kale, in which my daughter was immensely interested.

ornamental kale


As she plucked a few leaves off and immediately tried to shove them in her mouth I explained that this was ornamental kale, and that we weren’t going to eat this stuff today.  Although it’s technically edible, it’s not as tasty as the stuff we buy in the grocery store.  She looked at me a little confused {as did the few folks around me as I explained kale to a 9 month old}, and we went along softly touching the ruffled texture of their leaves without popping them in our mouths.


ornamental kale 3


ornamental kale 4

It’s no secret the flowering plants are show stoppers in the garden.  Big and colorful blooms can be eye-catching,  sweet smelling additions to a garden, but I often prefer the understated beauty of foliage plants.  Although they aren’t as flashy as blooming plants, they can provide texture and unity to planting beds.  I like to think of them as the backup singers without whose shoo bop bops the song of my landscape wouldn’t be complete.

The supporting foliage of ornamental kale will dwindle once the weather heats up around late May, but here’s a few perennial foliage plants that can provide a beautiful backdrop for both perennial and annual blossoms.

perennial foliage plants

in my garden- Getting Rid of Grape Hyacinth Bulbs

Getting Rid of Grape Hyacinth Weeds One of the surest signs of spring is the emergence of bulbs.  From tulips to daffodils and hyacinths, once I see those spear-shaped leaves poking through my soil I breathe a sigh of relief knowing winter is on it’s way out.  Usually.


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My Favorite Gardening Magazine: The English Garden

My Favorite Garden Magazine

Every eight weeks or so I receive springtime in my mailbox.  It comes in the form of my favorite gardening magazine, The English Garden.  I say springtime because finding it in the mailbox gives me the same feeling as seeing the first leaves on a lilac bush, or the tips of tulips pushing through the soil. As I turn the pages and look through the index I’m reminded of why I’m a gardener and I fall in love with landscaping all over again.


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